Determine remaining useful life
DEKRA Testing and Inspection

Until when can you safely use your components?

Determining the remaining useful life of your assets

It goes without saying that you place high value on the sustainable use of your equipment and the components therein. Therefore, it is important to know when to replace them. For that, you first need answers to a number of questions. For example: To what extent has a component or piece of equipment been subject to wear or ageing? How long will it be safe for you to continue to use it? Should it be replaced when it reaches the end of its planned lifetime? You can find the answers to all these questions by determining the remaining lifetime of your assets. DEKRA is happy to do this for you and to give you insight into the condition of your components and/or equipment.

‘Remaining technical lifetime’ is the term used to indicate how long you can continue to safely use a particular component or piece of equipment. This might be beyond a product’s planned useful life. Once a component has no remaining technical lifetime, the risk of it failing increases. DEKRA is on hand to determine the remaining lifetime of your components and equipment for you, aided by advanced techniques, measurements and tests​. Can your component still be used or re-used and, under what conditions (eg. additional regular maintenance) and for how long. This makes the determination of the remaining useful life an important part of your asset lifecycle management.
Our experts offer various tests. This gives you insight into the residual life of, for example:
  • Large-sized rubber components (for example from the OosterSchelde storm surge barrier)
  • Steel rubber components from rail vehicle bogies
  • (Aluminium) high voltage cables
  • Insulated wiring
  • Hydraulic hoses
  • Guardrails along highways
  • Rail brake rail seat
  • Rail brake frame for hydraulics
  • Bearings and plastic wheels from luggage transport systems
  • Shock absorbers in rail vehicle bogies

The benefits of determining the remaining lifetime of assets

You will gain a number of benefits from determining the remaining lifetime of your products, components and systems:
  • You get the most out of your assets against minimal risks.
  • You can use your assets sustainably and only replace them when necessary.
  • You guarantee the safe use of your equipment.
  • You reduce risks by ensuring that your assets are within requirements.
  • By preventing the failure of your assets, you avoid the great expense their failure sometimes involves.
  • You gain insights that allow you to optimise your maintenance approach.
  • You can plan maintenance better.
  • You may be able to reuse materials responsibly.

Determining the remaining lifetime of assets for the purpose of asset management

Asset management involves protecting the safety of employees and the public, keeping costs as low as possible and adopting a sustainable approach to your assets. The determination of the remaining lifetime of components plays an important role in asset management. It is vital for you to comply with safety standards at all times so that you and your employees can set to work without any concerns about safety.
It’s expensive to replace equipment or components. If their remaining lifetime is determined properly, you will be in a position to decide whether you can postpone maintenance, revision or replacement. Meanwhile, better knowledge of your systems and components enable you to avoid early failure.

DEKRA’s approach

We determine an asset’s condition development to determine its remaining useful life in specific usage conditions. At the basis of this, is thorough knowledge of materials behavior in many different circumstances. This enables us to assess the degradation mechanisms of specific materials, materials combinations and structures. Knowledge of the degradation mechanisms is crucial in knowing what tests or measurements to perform, and how.
Using this knowledge, our experts can build up a detailed picture of the condition (degree of degradation) of your equipment. They achieve this by carrying out a number of tests and measurements. The aspects we consider include:
  • the extent and cause of degradation (including cracks or crack initiation, wear, corrosion and ageing);
  • the condition of the material; and
  • the loads a component or construction must be able to withstand. For example, heat or moisture.
We use various measurement and research techniques and calculations to identify any degradation of a piece of equipment or component. This enables us to develop models that accurately show the tolerance of the material in question. In other words: what it will be able to withstand before it stops functioning properly. We establish the preventive measures necessary in consultation with you and on the basis of the results obtained. For example, the replacement of parts in a system, or changes outside the system itself, to reduce the load on the system. The object of preventive measures will always be to extend the remaining lifetime of components.

Remaining lifetime determination by DEKRA

We draw on our expertise and years of experience to establish the best way for us to help you. Our experts are up to date with the most relevant standards and requirements for components.
DEKRA’s experts will take their investigation results and prepare a report for you. It will set out the expected remaining lifetime per component, including the margin of uncertainty and any measures that could extend the lifetime of components, and facilitate optimised asset management. You will sometimes need the information in the report to comply with legislation or regulations. DEKRA can also put together a component reconditioning framework for you if you would like it to.
We will work with you and consider your specific situation at all times so that you benefit from a tailor-made investigation. We will communicate effectively with you in every phase of our investigation as well so that you understand our approach and we are able to align our investigation to your particular needs as much as possible.

Examples from the field

DEKRA has worked on unique cases for a very wide range of different parties. To give just two examples: we work with several clients to determine the remaining lifetime of steel-rubber parts in bogies. Our investigation results enabled one of these clients to reduce the number of overhauls necessary by one during the concession period. For another client, we investigated the lubricants used in the gearboxes of trains. This particular client is now able to avoid unexpected failures and extend its overhaul periods.

Why DEKRA?

DEKRA is an expert in asset lifecycle management and can test your materials, parts and components for you. DEKRA has been determining and extending the remaining lifetime of clients’ assets in the Netherlands for more than 60 years now. We have been continually improving our methods as well - which we always do in close consultation with clients.
Our experts deliver a tailor-made approach and investigation. We use the advanced equipment in our well-equipped laboratories to test and measure your components, systems and materials and arrive at substantiated advice, measures and solutions.

Schedule a 1:1 session

Do you want better insight into, and control of, your equipment maintenance? And do you want a clear picture of wear and tear to, or the condition of, components? Get in touch with one of our experts. The process is simple:
1. Request a free 1:1 session with one of our experts using the form below.
2. Submit your unique case.
3. Get valuable insights on concrete follow-up steps.
Contact
DEKRA Rail B.V.

Concordiastraat 67

3551 EM Utrecht